Jobs created

Oil firms to spend £16.6bn on decommissioning

Brae Bravo platform

About £16.6 billion will be spent removing oil and gas infrastructure from the North Sea over the next decade, creating thousands of jobs in the region.

Oil and Gas UK, the industry body, estimates that about half of the money will be used to decommission 1,800 wells.

The total bill for removing equipment from the basin is now estimated to be in the region of £46 billion, a 23% reduction compared with the £59.7 billion that was forecast in 2017.

The cut is partly because companies are becoming more efficient at doing the work needed and are getting better at collaborating on big projects.

Oil and Gas UK said that the coronavirus outbreak had caused decommissioning spending to slow to £1.07 billion for 2020, but the

An estimated 1.2 million tonnes of disused oil and gas installations ranging from massive rigs to the well heads that sit on the seabed in hundreds of metres of water, are to be brought to shore for reuse, recycling and disposal in the coming decade, says a new industry report.

Decommissioning Insight 2021, published by OGUK, which represents the offshore oil and gas industry, will set out plans for what is thought to be one of the largest marine removal programmes ever attempted.

Operators are aiming to set new standards in waste recovery. About 95% of the material from such installations is typically already recycled but the focus is now moving towards reuse – where component parts, or occasionally whole structures, are redeployed for new purposes with minimal modifications.

This avoids the energy and associated emissions needed for cutting up, smelting or crushing components, or making new ones.

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